Utilization of nanotechnology to improve the handling, storage and biocompatibility of bioactive lipids in food applications

David Julian McClements*, Bengü Öztürk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Bioactive lipids, such as fat-soluble vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acids, carotenoids and phytosterols play an important role in boosting human health and wellbeing. These lipophilic substances cannot be synthesized within the human body, and so people must include them in their diet. There is increasing interest in incorporating these bioactive lipids into functional foods designed to produce certain health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer and cholesterol-lowering properties. However, many of these lipids have poor compatibility with food matrices and low bioavailability because of their extremely low water solubility. Moreover, they may also chemically degrade during food storage or inside the human gut because they are exposed to certain stressors, such as high temperatures, oxygen, light, moisture, pH, and digestive/metabolic enzymes, which again reduces their bioavailability. Nanotechnology is a promising technology that can be used to overcome many of these limitations. The aim of this review is to highlight different kinds of nanoscale delivery systems that have been designed to encapsulate and protect bioactive lipids, thereby facilitating their handling, stability, food matrix compatibility, and bioavailability. These systems include nanoemulsions, solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs), nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs), nanoliposomes, nanogels, and nano-particle stabilized Pickering emulsions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number365
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioactive lipids
  • Bioavailability
  • Food applications
  • Nanotechnology
  • Storage stability


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